CrunchyMetroMom

Trying to create balance…

Product Review: Empower Fitness Fingertip Grip Medicine Ball August 3, 2012

{Disclaimers: 1) I am not, not do I claim to be a doctor. Before you attempt to use this product, check with your primary care physician and/or specialist health care professional to be sure that it’s right for you. 2) I received this product for the purpose of testing and was allowed to keep it as a courtesy for posting a review. I received no other compensation for this review and was specifically told, “Write whatever you want.” In other words: this is MY opinion and not a company-paid PR piece. Take that for what you will.}

NOTE: If you are attending BlogHer’12, you can WIN this item in my BlogHer Attendee-only giveaway!

There’s a part of me that totally wishes I were She-Ra or some other incredibly buff chica, ready to take on the world. Unfortunately, I have a love of ice cream that seems to know no bounds. (I suppose I could rationalize this by saying that I’m helping to prop up the local dairy – which is less than 5 minutes’ drive from my house – but that’s REALLY PUSHING IT.) Anyhoo, when I was presented with the opportunity to check out the Fingertip Grip Medicine Ball from Empower Fitness, I jumped at it. After all, dh had done several “medball” workouts and liked them a lot.

Initially, I went with the 8lb medball. This turned out to be a bit of a mistake, since it was a bit too heavy for the level of workout that I needed to keep pace with the DVD. This resulted in me injuring my wrist and laying off the medball for a few days. Thankfully, the folks at Empower Fitness are extremely cool and (at my request) provided me with a 6lb medball so I could see if it was the medball or what I’d term “operator error”. Truly, it fell into the second category…and now I have my form down quite a bit better.

So, what all do you get when you purchase the medball? First off, this isn’t like most medicine balls out there. It’s squishy in a rather delightful way, with these fun little dimples all over that give it a sense of being a wildly oversized, smushy golf ball. The “fingertip grip” indentations make it a lot easier to grab onto the ball, especially when sweating, and I found that to be quite useful. The medball also comes with a DVD workout featuring Gin Miller and a bootcamp workout poster with a set of 10 exercises you can do at your own pace.

There are four weight options for the Fingertip Grip Medicine Ball: 4lb, 6lb, 8lb, and 10lb. I recommend starting with the lower of the weights you think you can manage best (e.g. pick the 6lb’er if you would normally think you should start at 6lb or 8lb), just to make sure you get your form down properly first. As I discovered, you figure it out when you’re doing it wrong…and while I didn’t need to go to my doctor to have an “exercise-related stupid” corrected this time, it’s always best to check with a doctor, trainer, etc. before picking up something completely new.

 

Empower Fitness 4lb Fingertip Grip Medicine BallEmpower Fitness 6lb Fingertip Grip Medicine BallEmpower Fitness 8lb Fingertip Grip Medicine BallEmpower Fitness 10lb Fingertip Grip Medicine Ball

The four lovelies: 4lbs, 6lbs, 8lbs, and 10lb Fingertip Grip Medicine Balls

 

 

The tests:

I did several workouts with the medball, first with the 8lb and then the 6lb. I tried both the DVD and the bootcamp poster, although I will say that I only tested the bootcamp workout with the 6lb’er, not the 8lb’er.

 

The results:

Overall, I think this is a really nice product. I found it comfortable to handle and easy to use. The fingertip grip indentations did come in handy as I flipped from exercise to exercise; even when I got a little sweaty or tired, I was able to hang onto the medball without fail. The size of the ball makes it easy to manage and comfortable to hold, and when you get into moves like tossing it from hand to hand or “bowling”, it balances well and doesn’t shift too much with the sand interior.

The DVD workout takes approximately 30 minutes, including warm-up and cool-down, and you can do it either in one fell swoop or pop into the menu to pick and choose which exercises you want to do. Gin’s perky without being annoying, and she gives several modifications so that you can work out at your own pace. Her cardio sections have modifications from low to high impact, and her strength sections have balance moves (or deeper moves) that allow you to push yourself a little more if you want. And, obviously, once you master one weight of medball, you can always move up to the next.

The bootcamp workout was similarly good, although I found the squishy nature of the medball a bit difficult to handle when it came to the one-armed push-ups. My wrist slipped a little and that was an uncomfortable feeling. Some of that is that I am truly MISERABLE at push-ups, and some of it is how the medball just buckled under the weight of my arm. Of course, I don’t discount that it could’ve been a form issue, but a hard medball would have given more resistance and been less likely to create that collapsing feeling that made me uneasy. All of the other exercises were great, though, and I could feel my body reacting to them (as in, “You’re making me work? Le WHUT?”). This is a very good sign. The poster-based workout takes about the same amount of time as the DVD if you do a little cardio warm-up and stretch afterwards (ALWAYS a good idea). It will take longer if you do it in “bootcamp” mode, where you insert a brief interval of cardio in between each exercise.

 

Where to buy:

According to the Empower Fitness web site, you can purchase these at various places online, including Amazon.com and Modells. Check out the Empower Fitness web site for full details.

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2 Responses to “Product Review: Empower Fitness Fingertip Grip Medicine Ball”

  1. Tammy Says:

    Interesting. I’m going to show it to my son (he’s my trainer)!

  2. […] For me, I found that some of the workouts I did when testing out products I was reviewing, like the Empower Fitness Fingertip Grip Medicine Ball, helped me cross-train. And the stretches I got from the trainer at my gym were ones I used both […]


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